1. Polynesia: Kalua Pork and Cabbage
The braised pork in this meal is so tender, but all you need are meat, cabbage and broth. It’s best enjoyed with a side of Hawaiian-style macaroni salad.
2. China: One-Pot Hainanese Chicken Rice
This dish is a riff on chicken and rice from the Hainan Province in China. The rice is lightly fried before covering with water and topping with chicken to steam. The cooked chicken is plated and then covered in a savory sauce and sprinkled with the leftover aromatics that flavored the cooking oil.
3. Japan: Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)
Japan has many more dishes than just sushi. This soothing rice dish is playfully nicknamed “mother and child” as it contains both chicken and egg.
4. India: Chana Masala
This flavorful dish is the epitome of North Indian comfort food. The fragrant spice mix is the key to its tastiness so don’t skip that step. Serve with naan bread or over rice.
5. Thailand: Pad See Ew
Pad Thai is a favorite dish at Thai restaurants, but don’t sleep on this noodle dish, where flat rice noodles are stir-fried and charred. In Thailand, this is a lunch sold by street vendors. Serve with a thinly sliced protein of choice and Chinese broccoli.
6. Vietnam: Phở Bò (Beef Pho Noodle Soup)
A total flavor bomb, this slow-simmered soup, the national dish of Vietnam, may seem like a lot of work but most of it is passive while the bone broth is on low on the stove. Top with scallions and cilantro, the way the Northerners do it.
7. Malaysia: Char Kway Teow (Malaysian Noodle Stir-Fry)
A popular dish in Malaysia, this noodle stir fry is also a big deal in Indonesia and Singapore. Cooking it in a carbon wok on high heat is just how the street vendors do it and leads to the perfect noodle texture.
8. Philippines: Chicken Adobo
Every Filipino family has their own version of this dish, where chicken is marinated and sautéed in vinegar and soy sauce. The Spanish coined the term "adobo" during their colonization of the county to mean any type of marinated meat and adobo is now a popular cooking method in Latin American cuisines, too, but with different flavors.
9. Cambodia: Amok (Fish Custard)
A curried fish mousse, amok is also a national dish of Cambodia. Catfish is simmered in spices with eggs and coconut cream with collard greens subbing in for the traditional but probably hard to find banana leaves.
10. South Korea: Spicy Pork Bulgogi
Gochujang paste is a great all-purpose condiment to keep on hand and essential in this spicy pork and rice dish. Serve with a cooling cucumber salad to beat the dish’s heat.
How often do you make Asian or Pacific Islander food?